Gabriele Tarquini has taken pole position in World Touring Car Championship qualifying at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Swiss driver Fredy Barth was surprisingly fastest in Q1 in his SUNRED SEAT, beating the three Chevrolet drivers, four SR-Sport 'factory SEAT' drivers and the two BMW Team RBM drivers, with Andy Priaulx squeezing through in tenth place at the expense of Barth's SUNRED teammate Michel Nykjaer. Norbert Michelisz also failed to make it through to Q2 after the engine in his Zengo Dension SEAT Leon blew, leaving him down in 13th place. Kristian Poulsen ended up as the top independent, while Marc Carol, who is driving this weekend as a one-off prize drive, was 14th. Franz Engstler went off into the gravel and ended his session early.
Into Q2, where Tarquini put together a fast lap early on to give SEAT pole position at its home race. Chevrolet drivers Rob Huff and Yvan Muller put late runs together to secure second and third on the grid, just ahead of the third Chevrolet Cruze of Alain Menu. Gearbox issues prevented the Swiss driver from improving his time with another run. Tiago Monteiro and Tom Coronel were fifth and sixth quickest, although Coronel will have to take a ten-place grid drop for changing his engine.
Jordi Gene and Barth were seventh and eighth fastest in qualifying, with the BMWs of Augusto Farfus and Priaulx a distant ninth and tenth.